Reading Nature, Observing Science: Examining Material Practices in the Lick Observatory Archives and Kenneth S. Norris PapersMain MenuIntroduction to the Lick Observatory ArchivesThe Lick Observatory: Imaging the CosmosThe Lick Observatory: Eclipse ExpeditionsEclipse Intro page (first in a path)Introduction to Kenneth S. Norris PapersKenneth S. Norris Papers: Natural History in PracticeKenneth S. Norris Papers: Pedagogy and ConservationConnections: In Relation to NatureThese images demonstrate the different constructions of nature in the two archivesConnections: Materials of ObservationVisualization of the ConnectionsVisualizes the connections between all the contentReading Nature, Observing ScienceCaptions and information for the cases of objects on display at UCSC Special CollectionsAlex Moore6cd84a9f7efd71803c15562e48a509db9e0bb5a6Christine Turkb279a3dcf419860f915007f04f08e6fc0f8662ceDanielle Crawford22ce6a14f83c9ff73c3545a665951a092258f08e
36-inch refractor, the "Great Lick Refractor": view at night with shutter open, ca. 1900-07
12016-06-01T17:59:18-07:00Photographing the Cosmos25plain2798582016-06-17T10:55:24-07:00Astronomers at the Lick used cameras to record and study the features of celestial objects in the solar system; but they were particularly preoccupied with using the camera to discover new kinds of distant celestial objects, such as nebulae, and to record and measure changes in their structure and their light. The images contained in this archive are certainly stunning; but they often do not necessarily represent what astronomers actually saw through the telescopes with the eye. In their writings and letters, we can see how astronomers had to sacrifice certain ideals of objectivity due to the material limitations of the camera, but we can also see how these ideals of objectivity are in themselves aesthetic ideals, perhaps inherited from the era of illustration. The beauty of these images also perhaps elides the laborious process that went into creating as well as reproducing them, and how the aesthetic expectations of astronomers impacted this labor.